Old Drum

Commentary on Warrensburg, Johnson County and Missouri issues from a Libertarian perspective. View my earlier commentary at www.olddrum.net.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Entrepreneurs, subsidies and garbage

On Thursday, I attended Wendell Bailey's symposium on the future of small business - it was part of the sesquicentennial events. One thing he said struck me. Essentially, it was this:

Cities used to go to manufacturers in Chicago and Detroit (and maybe KC & St. Louis) to try to get the big boys to open a plant in their town. That's a waste - the big boys are looking for the "low-cost solution" and we're not it. Thge "low-cost" solutions are in Central America, China and South Asia. Instead, towns should be working to encourage their local entrepreneurs. They're the ones who will create the new jobs locally, more so than national firms.

That same evening, the DSJ had an article about a local start-up company that has essentially outcompeted a major international corporation. Of course, it's a service industry, but Allied Waste has sold all their local routes to a locally-owned and managed company, Heartland Waste. Heartland has aggressively marketed it service; I suspect it had taken enough market share to hurt Allied's profitability, so the big boy punted. It's a victory for local entrepreneurship, and I'm sure Warrensburg's new logo will look good on the side of their trucks.

I don't believe in government subsidies for business, especially retail business, but if Warrensburg is going to expand its participation in the pratice of subsidies, it ought to work on behalf of local entrepreneurs, not subsidize outsiders.

In Liberty


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